Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus

Release Day: July 13th, 2010

Summary: (from Goodreads) His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her. Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry. After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all. But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

Review: Another great book. There were many great things about the story and one was that our heroine wasn't perfect. I don't think many of us are, so readers can probably relate to her more. Zach was of course the perfect guy that most girls want. I loved the descriptions of him, because he was easier to imagine (which I do a lot). Phe's friends were very nice and people that she would hang out with. Overall, the characters were well-developed and stayed true to their personalities. I loved seeing Trent's vulnerable side.
p>Plot-wise, it was pretty fast. Things came one after another adding another puzzle to be solved, but every event was connected and resolved. Although some bits were a little predictable, the climax was unexpected.

There is mythology in it as well as paranormal happenings, but the author mixed in science creating an original story. A genetic mutation caused the awesome attracting powers of Zach and there are many others like him. The Supernatural led Phe to Shadow Hills in the first place. And the ending reveals a shocking secret.

The villain isn't that much of a villain except for the villain did a lot of villain-like things that villains should pay for. I pitied the bad person and wished that there could have been another solution to the problem that led them to do all they did, but it was just sad. I don't want to give anything away, so if I sound cryptic, forgive me. :) I think that if you read it, you'll end up liking it! So do I recommend it? Heck yeah!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Here is the book trailer!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tell Me A Secret

Author: Holly Cupala

Release Date: June 22 2010

Summary: In the five years since her sister's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret Xanda took to the grave. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams-a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all-Miranda has a secret of her own.

When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, she's stripped of her former life. Miranda must finally face her sister's demons and her own to truly free herself.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of the past to face her future.

Review: I have to say that the first few pages did not interest me. They were confusing and the layout bothered me. First the main character would talk and in the present tone, but then there would be a break in the page and there would be a flashback then another break and back to the present.

But, the layout was actually a reason for why the better part of the book worked so well. I cried so much during the story because it was so emotional. Torturous decisions and the realism of the emotions conveyed the roller-coaster lifestyle of Miranda, the main character. Her story was powerful, leaving a deep impression on me about what life may throw at us.

Miranda wasn't a bad person, but one decision shot her through a series of related events leading back to her sister's death, which Miranda clearly had trouble accepting and moving past. Miranda made a bad choice, but in the end life knew what it was doing because it gave her back her happiness and peace of mind. Realistic fiction that portrays other peoples' true stories vividly is rare, but Holly Cupala did a wonderful job pulling at my heartstrings! :)

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 *

Maybe if the introduction had been as good as the rest of the book, then I might have given it a 5. I'm reluctant to rate it a 4 because of the inconsistency, but the story was solid and the fact that it can make you cry deserves a lot of points.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Upcoming Product Review :)

Hey guys!

I was contacted by CSN(+200 stores), and online retailer, to review one of their products on my blog. They have over 200 websites with different products. CSN also sell kitchen ware, lighting, baby things, and furniture. Since they have a bookcase store, I wanted to review one.

I actually need a bookcase too! Usually I get rid of my used books by donating them to my high school's library, but there are some books I can't bear to let go of just yet and they've been piling up. :) I don't have an actual shelf and usually just pile up my books in the corner of living room. I hope to give you people a wonderful review, but we'll have to see. This is my first product review and I got to say that I'm excited!

I'm not sure how soon I'll post it, but it may be awhile considering the busy summer I'm having this year! Thanks to my readers for following and I really do appreciate it.

By the way, I just looked and there's a small book shelf on sale for like 20 dollars which is pretty good if you ask me. It looks great for tiny places like my apartment.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mexican Whiteboy

Author: Matt de la Peña

Summary: (goodreads) [close] Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California. [close]

Review: I really liked this book. The characters were interesting having problems and different aspirations. I felt that the main character, Danny, had a multi-faceted personality, but it was hazy.

All of the characters could have used some more depth and characterization. The book sometimes was in third person through Danny's point of view while other chapters were in Uno's third person view. Admittedly, it was interesting to see both sides so differently, but I felt that it did hurt the characterizatio a little bit.
The baseball angle was kind of risky in my opinion. I strongly dislike sports, so I wouldn't have picked this up if I didn't relate to the character. It ended up being a critical part of the story and had me wanting to be a pitcher when I grow up. I loved how the author made it a natural part of Danny's life; his escape.
I didn't feel overwhelmed by the boy hormones either as is common in other books where the boy is the main character. Danny was such a nice guy and hopefully normal, except for his self-mutilation, since he wasn't always thinking about sex. There was drinking though, but it was kind of inevitable with the friends he hung out with and the lifestyle he was trying to conform to.
I'm hispanic. Full. I can't relate to Danny being half and half, but I do understand how it is to feel like you don't belong. Even though I'm Hispanic, Mexicans in Mexico see me as too Americanized and the white Americans here see me as too Mexican. I feel like I'm judged by both and fit nowhere sometimes, which is what Danny feels. He sees his white life and doesn't like it because he misses his dad. His dad wasn't white and that's why he went to live with his relatives. Danny says that he wants to be more Mexican. Then he sees that it isn't bad to be how he is because he doesn't lack the things his barrio friends do, but he gets to enjoy the delicious Mexican food and family atmosphere. It was a good story that I felt held a lot of truth and logic. The details did give Danny character in what little we did see of him, but I wished that it could have been expanded.
Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Summary: (author site) Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

Review: This was an amazing book as is expected of Sarah Dessen. I loved it! The title fit the story so well and tied everything into a nice fancy package which surprised me. It made sense! :)

Wes is of course awesome and my latest literary crush. In the plot, Wes is very important, and I liked how things turned out. The way that the characters interacted was special to only them. It was kind of like the Gotcha! game was special to Wes and Bert. These details give each person personality and lend them credibility. Although the plot was a tad bit slow, it was consistent and properly paced.

The development of the relationship between Macy and Wes was perfect. There were times when they didn't see each other at all and talking wasn't always effortless. They didn't just fall into each others arms which seems to happen a lot in YA making the characters feel unrealistic. Wes and Macy happened like they do in real life.

Jason sounds perfect. And annoying. I was surprised that he softened, if only the tiniest bit, his attitude toward Macy, but I'm surprised that they became a couple in the first place since Jason is so aloof and inhuman practically. I like the story.

Macy was rich, as you could tell from her house and the stuff she owned, but that was never said in the story. Her wealth wasn't the point of the story and the detail only added to the characterization of Macy and creating her as a unique person in the story.

I have to say that Bert was probably my favorite character out of the bunch because his seriousness, paranoi about Armageddon where endearing. Aren't I strange? :)

If you pick it up, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. I couldn't put it down and would have read it in one sitting if my mom hadn't been using her you're-in-very-big-trouble voice when she told me to leave the book and go to bed. :)

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Friday, June 4, 2010

Just Please

Artist: C.N Blue

Language: ENGLISH

About: C.N Blue is actually a Korean Indie group which I love. Other songs by them include "I'm A Loner" and "Love Revolution" both of which I love. They are awesome and one of the vocalists was actually in the drama "You're Beautiful" which was epic! I've posted a review on it here, somewhere. Anyways, give them the support they deserve. The English is a tadbit hard to understand in parts, but it gives the song an edge.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Artist: F.Cuz (pronounced "Focus")

Language: Korean/English

About: F.Cuz has four members. Jin On is the leader. The others are Kan, LeeU and Ye Jun. They debuted in South Korean on the 8th of January of this year with the song "Jiggy" which is a wonderfully catchy song. F.Cuz has already started to branch out into international music scenes. They signed a contract with the label Taiwan Seed and made a Chinese version of "Jiggy" which is just as good as the original. Hopefully, F.Cuz can manage to come out with more great songs and keep their fans eyes' on them.
MV: (This is the first version)

MV: (Dance Version and more mature)

MV: (Chinese Version featuring Yao Yao)

My favorite is the first version, but they look better in the Dance and Chinese ones. Yao Yao is pretty cute in it but I don't like her voice because she isn't even singing but still a good MV. Her dancing would be greatly improved if she wasn't wearing heels and a dress. What the heck. By the way, I don't own anything and the subs belong to the videos respective owners.